Jump to content
Bucki1968

Accessibility, Time (Pace Of Play), Or Money?

Time (pace of play), accessibility, or money? Biggest problem with golf?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the biggest problem with golf now?



18 posts / 947 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

I was watching golf channel this morning and they were commenting on the "three pillars" of golf (from an operational view). I thought it was very interesting that both guys agreed that time (pace of play) was the biggest issue. Back in the 90;s (when I was in the golf business) it seemed like Money was the biggest concern. Courses were being built and green fees were rising with those new courses and a Callaway Big Bertha cost was $200.00. Kinda laughable now but that was a big deal then. I guess I'm not really sure what accessibility consists of. Available courses to play? Available equipment to use? I know there are a lot pace of play threads out there but I guess I'm not sure that time is the number one concern right now. I'm a teacher in a very low income school, and when I tell kids that I play golf, they all say "That's a rich white man sport". I guess I'm looking at it from that statement alone. With the price of green fees now and equipment, it's certainly limits the sport to people with disposable income. To me, the biggest obstacle for golf is (and always has been) $. 

Edited by iacas
fixed poll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Want to hide this ad? Register for free today!

I don't know how to define "problem".  Is it the factor keeping people from starting to play golf, or keeping them from playing as much as they'd like, or making them choose to give it up?  I think there are courses available for most of us, although there are some areas where they are scarce or very expensive.  I think there is golf for a variety of budgets, from used clubs and municipal courses to high end private clubs and top of the line equipment.  I think the one thing that is a constant across the board is the time commitment.  Not necessarily the pace of play, but even with reasonable (not fast) pace its 2 hours on-course for 9 holes, 4 or more for 18,  That means most people will be away from the house for 3 to 5 hours or more when they play.

But another factor keeps at least some people away.  Golf isn't easy to learn, and downright hard to become good at, if you want to be able to succeed right away, its not a good sport for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Of those three choices, I pick pace of play. I don’t find accessability or money to be any kind of limitation at all. I also recognize that that may very well be unique to my personal circumstance…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 2/20/2019 at 1:42 PM, DaveP043 said:

But another factor keeps at least some people away.  Golf isn't easy to learn, and downright hard to become good at, if you want to be able to succeed right away, its not a good sport for you.

Agreed.  I voted "Money" and viewed it from the perspective of a novice.  The number of $8-$10 range buckets one would need to buy to even get the ball airborne on a regular basis strikes me as deterring issue, never mind becoming mildly competent enough to enjoy a round on the course (enjoy the actual golf...not just a 4-hour drinking party, which I've seen a-plenty).   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I chose pace of play.   A lot of people that I know don't golf because it takes "all day long" to play a round.   They have found other activities that don't require the dedication and time required to improve.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I went with "money". Folks are watching their money closer these days. Imho, there are just way more folks who don'f see, or won't qualify their roi on what it cost to golf. Fixed retirement incomes hurt potential golfers as the cost of just about everything continues to rise, except their retirement checks. 

Accessibility is still good. Plenty of golf courses still around. That's not a problem. 

I am not going to jump on the pace of play band wagon. That is just a hot topic for those in the business imo. Pace of play is what it is, at that time. Unless some gurus make wholesale changes in the game, time spent golfing will never change for the better, for some golfers. 

Also, that promotion that used the term "golf is hard" to my way of thinking, more than likely moved potential golfers to another game, or sport. Hard to justify laying out earned dollars for something deemed hard to play. It may have had a reverse effect. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Pace of Play. My wife only likes to play 9 for that reason. I really think if it took 3.5 hours to play 18, the game would attract more players.

Golf can be expensive, but there are ways around that will deals and memberships.

I don't see issues with accessibility around the Boston area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Time.  Figure it takes at least 30 minutes to get from sitting at the kitchen table to the first tee, in.many cases, an hour.  Then anywhere from 3-6 hours on the course, for 18.  Then another 30 minutes home.  4 to 7 hours invested in one activity is too much time for many.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I chose money. But I think, depending on the area, it’s more of a perception thing and not reality. If one looks at Aviara, Torrey etc prices and new equip prices I’d agree. But there are many avenues to keep costs way down. Used gear. There are two management/ owner companies that offer “players club” deals which keeps the green fees very reasonable.....sub $50 per 18 , sub $30 weekdays with cart. Even with about 6 course closings in 10 years competition is still pretty good amongst courses for players.

Of the few I know that have given up the game most cite slow play as their excuse. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I chose money also but I think when you couple it with the time you need to play golf, it really keeps the younger generation away from the game. I'm not sure many younger people have the patients to practice to get better as well as the money required. And I'm not talking about just teenagers. I know plenty of 20/30 somethings who have told me they can buy a video game and play for hours/days/weeks for what one round of golf costs. Golf is a lifestyle. I personally love it and have been doing it for years so (other than fishing) I work so I can play golf. I assume that all of you on this web-site are similar in your thinking. Like I mentioned in another thread, the numbers of high school age golfers playing on golf teams has dropped dramatically (at least in the Tampa area) in past 5-10 years. I still believe that it is $ related more than any thing else. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

It could also just be perception of golf by people. Many younger people may only see golf on TV. They see a game that takes a long time, has a strict dress code, a lot of rules, and costs quite a bit relative to other games/sports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I chose time because a lot of people I know don't want to play because it's too long for them and they don't have the time. Also here in Canada, Quebec accessibility is starting to be an issue, probably more than in the U.S. A lot of golf course are sold to property developers and it's starting to limit the choices of course at close range. I don't think money is an issue, there is always deals you can find to play golf at a discount and other activities cost as much as golf these days.

Edited by Benit0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I chose 'Time' on the basis that it applies across the board.  Many are commenting on their personal situations/geographical regions, which is completely understandable, however, the amount of time golf requires is substantial no matter where you are. 

I "learned" to play golf (in the sense that I was taught the general concept of swinging a club and rules for getting around a course) just before college and wanted to keep learning.  However, it was mainly time that kept me from doing so.  I picked up shooting in college and there was a free state park range a few minutes away.  So it was possible to bring spare ammo/clay targets and shoot for 30 minutes.  Out and back in less than an hour.  Since I was an engineering student, wanted to have a relatively normal social life, and wanted to stay in shape (went to the gym for at least an hour 4-5 times/week and never pulled an all-nighter) the concept of playing golf for 3-5 hours a clip on a regular basis was just unreasonable.  I was also on an extremely tight budget and although shooting is expensive, a free range goes a long way.

Then I moved to start my career where the situation was reversed as far as accessibility and money goes.  That's when I really started to enjoy playing golf.  Shooting ranges either required yearly memberships or you pay for lanes/targets/safety quizzes/etc that really add up on top of sometimes requiring you to shoot higher priced ammo.  Golf courses on the other hand are abundant and plenty were very affordable.  For a while I was at a site where if I wanted to, I could go to a course a few minutes away and hit a small bucket, then be back and finish my lunch within an hour.  Still, 18 holes requires almost a full day and the time commitment to really improving is not a small one.  Shooting I had a knack for and was able to improve by just getting reps and dry fire drills.

TL;DR:  Voted Time because some places golf is cheap and abundant, others it's scarce or expensive, but it will always be a big time commitment to play a round and a much much bigger one to really improve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

It always amazes me when people say they wouldn't play golf because it takes to long and the dress code. As far as time goes it seems like every tournament I play in at the CC everybody but is in a big damn hurry. Before the first guy has even teed up people are already mumbling about pace of play. When you walk into the banquet room the 30 guys out of 100  that finished "FAST" and have already finished eating, sit there and look at everybody when they walk in like "what the hell took you so long". When you're doing something you enjoy what's the difference if it takes 4 hrs. or 4.75 hrs. As far as dress code most muni's don't have them. Cost, golf is cheap. I think the #1 reason is "GOLF IS HARD" so when macho men cant hit a little ball they just blame it on something else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On 2/22/2019 at 4:30 AM, boogielicious said:

Pace of Play. My wife only likes to play 9 for that reason. I really think if it took 3.5 hours to play 18, the game would attract more players.

Golf can be expensive, but there are ways around that will deals and memberships.

I don't see issues with accessibility around the Boston area.

I think that for most, expense is still the driving issue, especially if you want to do more than just play the local muni.  Nice courses here in Colorado go from $100 and up per round.  I used to be able to carry and walk 72 holes in a weekend for $15 per round - that same course costs $45 to walk, $60 to ride now.  

Clubs, even used, are not cheap for anything actually worth buying.  Even a decent used driver will run $200.

I understand the time factor for anyone trying to raise a family, but that has never been an issue for me.  No kids, and my wife has always been happy to get me out of the house for a few hours.  

Accessibility isn't an issue for most of us.  Even out here in the boonies, I have a well kept 9 hole course less than 10 minutes from my house, an 18 hole course 20 minutes away, and a second 18 about 30 minutes away.  

Edited by Fourputt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Being in the operation, time can be a hard thing every once in a while, money is only really a factor during primetime, and accessibility is a broad term. What I’ve found is its a total summation of everything, value.

Pricing is driven by demand because people are willing to pay more for good times. So at 3pm or whatever super twilight is, even the nice $100 courses are $40 or whatever. For those worried about cost, anyone can still go and have fun with the $200 walmart set or 10yr old set from ebay. Golf doesn’t have to be the expensive sport people see it as, they just have to know how to find the right deals/times. 

Time, the hardcore golfers are worried about time, the occasional golfer is golfing because they want to get out of the house and have some fun with their friends. Time can be reduced by simply enough by informing the golfing population about etiquette and getting people to play proper tee boxes. But mostly time dedicated to the golf experience won’t change much.

Value. Value is the biggest problem. Value is the summation of time vs money vs fun vs experience. We need to add more to the fun and experience at a golf course for the same price. The value isnt high of a cheap goat track course or the nice course but crappy service and no amenities. The business must change to add value to golf or golf courses.

People love the idea of a country club, but are turned off immediately by the price. So overall value for the person drops. Give golf a facelift to match the offerings of a country club for the price of a reasonable public course and advertise that experience, people will try it. They seek value. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

On ‎2‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 6:34 PM, Let it Fly said:

Agreed.  I voted "Money" and viewed it from the perspective of a novice.  The number of $8-$10 range buckets one would need to buy to even get the ball airborne on a regular basis strikes me as deterring issue, never mind becoming mildly competent enough to enjoy a round on the course (enjoy the actual golf...not just a 4-hour drinking party, which I've seen a-plenty).   

At my home course you can join their "Player Development" program for $49 bucks a month.  This includes unlimited range balls and unlimited play on their three practice holes.  Too good a deal to pass up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I voted money.

Having said that, it think a lot of that is perception. People perceive golf as an expensive sport so maybe they shy away from it. You walk through Golf Galaxy and see $500 drivers and $1200 sets of irons, you immediately think cost of entry is really high. When I started playing golf in the early 90's I did the same thing. Only it was $200 drivers and $600 sets of clubs. (about $400 and $1200 when adjusted for inflation.) I had a group of guys I worked with who all played and they got me into the game. Otherwise, I'm sure I wouldn't have taken it up.

I started out with a $99 set of "Knight Centari" clubs, which included everything including the bag. Amazingly, an equivalent set made by Knight today is still only $150.00. 

I rented Jack Nicklaus "Golf my Way" VHS tape and I was hooked.

You can still get into the game rather inexpensively. But I don't think that fits with the perception. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...